Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Cozy Spot

There is no better therapy for stress than to have a cozy spot outdoors to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.

Back in the day, we had "rooms" set up in the garden for different times of day as the sun would hit the area a certain way.  Then we had the spots that were perfect for watching the stars at night.

We are blessed to live in Florida when we can enjoy a meal outdoors just about any time of the year.

Fine Gardening is a great website to gather inspiration for creating a new spot in your garden.  I love spending time going through all the awesome photos of gardens from all over the world.

This photo is from a garden in Connecticut . . . so comfy and cozy, yet very simple.  To see more photos of this beautiful garden, click here.

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Amazonica Alocasia

Love my new Amazonica Alocasias!

This is one of those plants that I have wanted to buy for the longest time, but they are so expensive.  Well, as luck would have it, The Captain and I discovered the garden center at the MacDill Air Force Base Commissary.  Just about everything at the commissary is much cheaper than anywhere else and we got one good sized plant for $1.99.

Yes!!!  I am doing the happy dance for sure.  These plants will grow beautifully in containers and since they don't like full sun, but bright light or partial shade, they are perfect for the Carport Jungle.

So far we have three of them and will continue to buy one or two every time we visit the base.  They have a great selection of tropicals at very reasonable prices, so we have found our source for fixing up the Carport Jungle beautifully.  I have my eye on their gorgeous selection of White Flower Bird of Paradise.

We will start taking photos of the progress and will do a page of the transformation on the website.

More to come on these beautiful plants . . . care, propagation, etc.  I love all types of elephant ears!

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Upcycled and unusual container plants

Trash cans as containers for plants are something I love to use in my garden (except mine are used and much older looking with lots of dents and dings).  I paint mine to make them prettier!  Love the idea of rollers on the bottom . . . great idea since the bigger ones really get heavy and difficult to move.

Before you go out to the store and spent way too much on new containers, check out DIY's website for some great ideas for items you may already have at home . . .

Click here to go to DIY's gallery of upcycled and unusual container plants.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Crinum Lily

The drought tolerant and virtually maintenance free crinum lilies have been blooming like crazy, as shown in an older photo from our garden. We have them all over the yard and when they are in bloom, it is a color splash explosion during the warm months.

The foliage of the variety of crinum lilies shown in the photos are not very attractive in the landscape (in my opinion) . . . but they make it up with the explosion of colors when they bloom.

The irritating thing about this plant is that it attracts the huge grasshoppers that are such a problem to get rid of, although they don't do much damage to the crinums.  They are shameless!

What I love about the crinum lilies . . . they multiply profusely once you get them established.  They are easily propagated by dividing the bulbs.

Here are some links featuring crinum lilies . . .

Pacific Bulb Society 

Marcel's Crinums

Floridata Crinum Page

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Beneficial Insects

Using beneficial insects has been one of the most effective ways that I have found in maintaining an organic garden.

Ladybugs are my favorite, but there are many beneficial insects already in your yard or you can purchase them at an organic garden center or online.  I always purchase mine online and have never had any problems!

I'll be adding articles and website pages of interest pertaining to beneficial insects as I find them.  Keep checking back for more information!

Click here to go to the article "6 Very Beneficial Insects: To Know Them Is To Love Them!".

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Raised Beds . . . The Ultimate Guide

I wasn't meaning to write a post today,
 but I found an awesome article on raised beds.

Click here for "Raised Beds . . . The Ultimate Guide"

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Toss the bare lawn?

Our once gorgeous and lush green grass in the front yard has turned to bare spots and mass plantings of a variety of weeds.

When I saw the photo of an interesting and beautiful non-lawn yard scene, I thought "why not?"

One of the why nots is that succulents don't do well in our climate and that is one of the things that I really like about the scene.

With a little imagination, I guess one could set out those pavers, do some research and find a ground cover that would thrive in these conditions.  The flashiness could come from the colorful tropicals that can be planted and do so well in our climate.

The area in the photo is small and our front yard is huge.  One paver section at a time I guess!  Another idea would be larger structures here and there, like bird baths and benches to take up some space.  Large containers strategically placed would also take up space and add to the texture.

Anyway, when I found the photo, I thought it was a good starting point for inspiration.  I'm sure we are not the only ones who are wanting to get rid of the lawn!

Click here to go to an article, "How to Use Ground Cover to Cover Bare Spots in the Lawn" . . . which is where I also found the photo.

Click here for another article, "Lawn Replacements: Kick Your Yard in the Grass" which includes a slideshow of many non-lawn inspirations.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Peppers ~ Southern Summer Favorites to Plant This Week

The following tips are courtesy of Home Depot's Garden Club.  Click on the source link at the end of the post to join.
Peppers are easy to grow in the garden and containers and thrive in long, hot summers with a weekly watering of 1-2”.
Huge, sweet red bells, mildly hot Anaheims, petite purple sweets, and wildly hot yellow habaneros – take your choice or plant them all in the garden or containers.
Peppers love hot weather, so pepper transplants, seeds and seedlings should be set out only after soil temperatures are above 65 degrees. Once the plants have flowered, give them a dose of Epsom salts (magnesium) to produce bigger peppers and more of them.
A note about hot peppers. Be mean to them, especially as they approach maturity. Quit watering as much, and don’t worry if leaves go limp in the afternoon sun. Lack of moisture concentrates the capsicum in the pepper, raising the heat level.
  1. To speed germination, place the seeds between a few damp paper towels and put in a zippered plastic bag in a warm place. The top of the refrigerator works fine.
  2. Add a 1” layer of compost over the planting bed, or scratch an organic vegetable fertilizer into containers before planting. 
  3. As soon as the pepper seeds sprout, carefully plant them in individual containers or directly into the ground spaced 12-18” apart.
  4. Water deeply, 1-2” every 5-7 days, unless plants are in containers, which require more frequent watering.
  5. When flowers appear, scratch a tablespoon of Epsom salts around the base of each pepper plant. Or spray the tops and bottoms of leaves with 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts mixed with 1 quart of warm water.
  6. Mulch flowering plants with 2” of organic mulch.
  7. Cage or stake plants as they grow taller and begin producing peppers.

Another excellent post about growing peppers

Source of featured article
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Friday, April 11, 2014

DIY Concrete Containers

Making concrete planters has to be one of the most satisfying and useful crafts ever.  

I love the selection of molds in this video!

Once you make a couple, your imagination will go wild with all kinds of stuff to use to for molds to make not only containers, but pavers and decorative border pavers for your plant beds and excellent for raised beds!  After a couple of years, they become awesome memories of previous seasons.

With so much to do and so little time to devote to the garden, I sincerely hope that I can get my hand in the concrete to make some memories for my garden.

This video is an excellent guide from HGTV . . . check it out!
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

It's finally here!

Up until last week, the arrival of Spring was questionable with night time temps dipping into the 40's.  I don't remember a winter lasting so long in my part of the world!

The Captain has been busy taking down the huge tree that fell on our storage shed.  What a mess it is!  Vines have grown all through the branches and over the roof.  I can't bear to go out there, it breaks my heart.  We already had a huge task at hand before the tree catastrophe.

I've finally accepted the fact that I am disabled and can't garden the way I used to.  There was a time not too long ago when I could get as much done out there as any man and sometimes more.  

The path that I set out all those years ago is still there and in great shape, although it is now covered with ground cover and weeds.  The guys told me I could probably pull off doing the path, but it would not last more than a year or so.  Haha . . . I made each paver out of concrete, using meat and fruit trays from the grocery story as a form.  Each was painted with enamel acrylic.  I wanted it to look wild.  Even the paint endured years of wear and weather.

The way it was . . . a photo from 1999.

The plan is for The Captain to clear the paths and we will begin to build raised beds here and there to make it easy for me.  I can still walk, but can't be on my legs very long, so I need to sit a lot.  

It is not fun starting over again with the hindrance of a disability and the wrath of nature.  We still don't have running water . . . another hindrance!  Long story told in some of my other blogs . . . difficult to garden without water.  So, this will mainly be the year of building what we will call the infrastructure of raised beds built around the paths and start on a pond or two.

Having a disability should not stop me completely . . . and I hope to show others with disabilities that they too, can have a garden.

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